17th Annual GRCC Diversity Lecture Series Announced

For 17 years, Grand Rapids Community College has been bringing thoughtful and provocative speakers to address our community at the Diversity Lecture Series.  GRCC has just announced the speakers for the 2011-2012 academic year and once again the list is impressive. The speakers in the 17th Diversity Lecture Series include:

  • Nicholas D. Kristof – September 26, 2011   “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women”

Nicholas Kristof, is the author of Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women, which outlines an agenda for the world’s women and three major abuses: sex trafficking and forced prostitution; gender-based violence including honor killings and mass rape; and maternal mortality, which needlessly claims one woman a minute. Kristof, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and columnist for The New York Times since 2001, is widely known for bringing to light human rights abuses in Asia and Africa. Many reviewers suggest that Half the Sky stands to become a classic, igniting a grass-roots revolution.

  • Jeannette Walls – October 26, 2011  “The Glass Castle: Demon Hunting and Other Life Lessons”

Jeannette Walls is author of the memoir, The Glass Castle, which has been on the New York Times best-sellers list for over three years. The book details Walls’ life growing up in extreme poverty and describes the unimaginable obstacles she faced. From the desert of the Southwest to her parent’s later homelessness in New York City, Walls’ account of an impoverished life is a compelling testament to what it means to be poor. Jeannette Walls is also a journalist whose work has appeared in New York Magazine, Esquire, USA Today, and MSNBC.

  • Maziar Bahari – November 9, 2011  “Then They Came for Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival”

Maziar Bahari, Iranian-Canadian journalist was arrested in Tehran on trumped-up charges of espionage in the aftermath of the contested 2009 election. Held in solitary confinement for 118 days, enduring physical and psychological torture, he chronicles his story in, Then They Came for Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival. As a correspondent for Newsweek, Bahari is an expert on Iran yet also embraces a wide range of subjects as a filmmaker, from Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany, to Iraqi child prisoners and Aids in South Africa.

  •  Jeff Johnson – February 15, 2012  “Everything I’m Not Made Me Everything I Am”

 Jeff Johnson is renowned both for his conversations with world figures in the political, business and entertainment arenas and his grass-roots work seeking to inspire the next generation of leaders. Johnson is a trailblazing social entrepreneur and authentic voice for change. Sometimes called the “conscience voice” of BET Networks, Johnson looks for ways to merge the worlds of politics and popular culture, through broad-based communication, including as a contributor to the Tom Joyner Morning Show. He is the author of Everything I’m Not Made Me Everything I Am.

  • Naomi Wolf – March 14, 2012   “Beyond Victimization: The Beauty Myth Revisited”

Author of seven books, including the New York Times best seller The Beauty Myth, Naomi Wolf focuses on gender equality, pervasive inequities in society and politics, the defense of liberty in America and internationally, and body image. She is the cofounder of the Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership, which teaches ethics and empowerment to young women leaders. In Give Me Liberty: A Handbook for American Revolutionaries, Wolf argues that breathtaking changes take place when ordinary citizens engage in the democratic system the way the founders intended, through civic engagement.

Warner Norcross & Judd has been a proud sponsor of the Diversity Lecture Series for a number of years.  For more information about the Diversity Lecture Series, visit the website of the GRCC Diversity Learning Center (click here).